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Gray Teeth? Here Are the Possible Causes & How to Brighten Them

May 8, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — smilespecialist @ 5:48 am
a woman smiling and revealing her gray tooth

One thing can be generally agreed upon when it comes to teeth: bright ones look best! When your “pearly whites” live up to that name, it makes you look healthier, more vibrant, and more confident. However, not everyone has naturally white teeth. Some people struggle with having one or more teeth that are gray. They may have always had a dim smile or perhaps they notice changes over time. Read on to learn the causes of this dental imperfection and how certain cosmetic dental treatments can help.

3 Possible Causes of Gray Teeth

The following are three possible causes of gray teeth:


Despite what media and pop culture convey, teeth are not supposed to be a gleaming white color. In reality, they come in a wide range of varying shades. In some cases, genetics can influence color. For instance, dentinogenesis imperfecta is a rare genetic condition that influences tooth structure and appearance, causing discoloration. It can make the enamel appear blue-gray or yellow-brown. If you think a genetic issue is the root cause of your gray teeth, be sure to visit your dentist so they can confirm your suspicions.

Dead Teeth

The center of each tooth is alive and active with living pulp and nerves. If trauma or damage occurs within the tooth, it can kill them, making the tooth darken. Over time, you may notice your smile turn from gray to even black. If you think you have a dead tooth, make an appointment with your dentist immediately so they can try to save it before it’s too late!

Dental Restorations

If you have a filling or dental crown, there is a chance the gray appearance of your tooth is the metallic coloring of the restoration showing through the enamel or porcelain surface. Fortunately, this discoloration is easily fixable; your dentist can refill the tooth in question with a white amalgam, making it blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.


This antibiotic can cause underdeveloped teeth to turn gray. While it’s most likely to occur with children under eight years old, it can also happen with mothers who took tetracycline during pregnancy. These medicine-induced stains are permanent but cosmetic dentistry services can help to reverse their effect!

What Cosmetic Dental Treatments Can Help?

The good news is that no matter what the reason for your gray teeth is, your dentist can help treat them so you can have a luminous smile. The best cosmetic dentistry options would be:

  • Professional Teeth Whitening: While this treatment is mostly used to correct yellowed teeth, it can still drastically improve the appearance of gray teeth. Your results will be contingent on the reason for the gray teeth and how dark they are.
  • Porcelain Veneers:  If your smile is now a deep gray color, veneers may be your ideal solution. By adhering ultra-thin shells of dental-grade porcelain to the front surfaces of teeth, your dental imperfection can be covered in as little as two appointments.

By visiting your dentist, you can explore cosmetic dentistry options so you can get the bright smile you’ve always wanted!   

About the Author

Dr. Steven Feit is eager to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from New Jersey Dental School and is an active member of several dental associations including The Dawson Academy. By using advanced dental technology and customized plans, he can treat your gray teeth with the best option for your dental needs and goals. To schedule a consultation, contact him through his website or call (561) 430-2705.

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